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Word Count: 928
Sexual attitudes and the Changing Times Sexual attitudes have changed in the last 50 years not so much sexual behavior but societies attitude towards it After the 2nd World War and in the 1950s sexual behavior was a very taboo subject and not openly discussed Sex was conducted behind closed doors and in the confines of marriage Sex was mainly for reproductive purposes and pleasure was not that important When a woman got pregnant outside of marriage and the father was around they were made to marry shotgun wedding as this brought great shame on the family Adoption and unmarried mothers homes were in existence and the church normally ran these Children born to these mothers were put up for adoption Church values were very strong and church leaders had a lot of say in the way family life was conducted 3 Alfred Kinsey in the USA conducted a major investigation in the 1940s and 1950s of sexual behavior and faced condemnation from many religious organizations for being immoral He persisted and eventually obtained sexual life histories of 18000 people This showed a gap that can exist between publicly accepted attitudes and actual sexual behavior 1 Sexual attitudes had undoubtedly become more permissive over the last 30 years The 1960s brought openly declared attitudes more into line with the realities of sexual behavior Social movements challenged the existing order of society The New Left and Hippie Lifestyles broke with existing sexual norms free love and pre-martial sex was adopted in their cultures Drugs were available and many people lost their inhibitions while under the influence 2 In 1967 the Abortion Act entitled women to legal abortion on medical and social grounds although this was a very limited service on the NHS but many private clinics opened This and the contraceptive pill played a great part in women becoming more sexually adventurous
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